Is it all right to switch agents when you feel your agent is not showing you houses you like? (I've seen

Asked by Penny, New York, NY Thu Feb 28, 2008

nine already.)

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Kymie Cooksey, Agent, Beekman, NY
Fri Feb 29, 2008
It is very important that you communicate your likes/dislikes to your agent as best you can. If your agent is not showing you the houses which interest you, find out the reason. If there is no logical reason and your agent is simply ignoring your wishes, then get another agent! Just be sure to discuss your issues with your broker beforehand. Your agent is there to help you and wants to find you homes both in your price range and that meet your various criteria. Speak up about anything that bothers you before you move to a different agent. The amount of positive change that can result from a five minute conversation will surprise you. Speak up! Tell your agent you've thought about working with a different broker. Trust me, if your agent is a good one, your concerns will be heard and addressed.
3 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Feb 28, 2008
Short answer: Yes, of course.

Long answer:
#1... have you signed an "exclusive buyer's agreement" with her? If so, you need to find your way to exit the agreement, before switching

#2... if she's not showing you the houses you like... have you communicated that with her. We're not mind readers, you know... if you're not being shown what you want... tell us, we're truly not interested in wasting our time, any more than wasting YOUR time.

#3... be clear, with your agent about ALL of your expectations. ie: I expect to received an electronic "hotsheet" from you, of all the available homes that meet my requirements daily.... I expect to have an email from you every third day... I expect to talk with you once a week.... I hope to view homes on Friday or Saturdays from the list you've sent me... I'll send you a list on Thursday, of which homes I'd like to see.... I do NOT expect to see anymore of those darn ranch houses without a den...

Feel free to spell it out in writing... by note, or e-mail, so there's no chance for misunderstanding. If after conveying those details, she's still not living up to your expectations, it's time to move on.
2 votes
Henry Staehs, , 89147
Thu Feb 28, 2008
...and there in lies one of dilemmas buyers sometimes experience when they begin their search for a home with their agent. Funny thing is - agents will usually show their buyer clients the very best homes available that matches the criteria and are within their client's buying budget. Sometimes a buyer 's expectations far exceed their financial reality. Before switching agents, I recommend you sit down with your current agent and rethink your game plan. Be specific with your wants and budget. Like my father once said, "A Champagne taste with a beer pocket-book can get frustrating, real fast. "

Good luck!!

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1 vote
Time4burbs, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Wed Jul 22, 2009
This is an old thread I just came across. I just want to add the following to those like me who may be reading this for background information: If the agent is not skilled enough at their trade to take the time to ensure that he/she knows (a) what the buyer's budget is; and (b) what the buyer's 'must have' requirements vs. their 'would-be-nice-to-have' requirements are, then they are not worth their high school prom picture on their business card.

It is a two-way relationship, yes, and in order for it to succeed, both parties have to do their jobs. The buyer has to know what they want, and, failing that, through lack of insight of the market, or being a property virgin, etc. then the agent must be able to effectively collect the data they need to execute their side of the arrangement and steer the buyer through the process to a mutually beneficial conclusion.

In the Westchester market, I'm still meeting agents that are stuck in the pre-Lehman Brothers collapse mentality, ie. they're happy to show a house or two, but when its evident that it may not be a quick sell, then it's onto their mailing list you go and you'll be lucky to hear from them again. Also, the boom of the last several years has brought in what I would consider to be less than highly qualified associates to the fray because of the profit potential. I mean really, what does the county require over 6000 real estate 'professionals' for?

So, bottom line, it's a much more competitive market out their right now, and if you think you've communicated your requirements correctly, move on to a new agent. Better yet, check their credentials beforehand and choose wisely going in. How long have they been in business? Are they doing this full-time? Do they have all of the appropriate licenses/certifications? If they don't get what you need at this stage, imagine what they are going to be like going forward to closing.

Last point: Exclusivity arrangements were a fool's bet before and are even more so now, stay away from them.
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